Encounters in the Tonkin Gulf
By John T. Correll
A fateful decision was based on reports of two attacks, one of which did not happen.
It was late for a presidential address, almost midnight on Aug. 4, 1964, but the situation was dire. Since midmorning, the Pentagon and the White House had been following reports of a battle in which North Vietnamese gunboats attacked two US destroyers, USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy, in the Tonkin Gulf off the coast of North Vietnam.